Friday, October 1, 2021



It's October again. In Michigan it still feels like August, but even global warming can't change the earth's tilt and orbit, so the days are shortening and October light is falling on leaves that still start their change, from green to yellow and red, though it's 80 degrees. So, Halloween is on its way, and, of course, Macbeth is showing up on the Shakespeare prof's syllabus.

There is really only one appropriate season to teach Macbeth. Ideally, discussions and, if possible, expeditions to see this play should fall between mid-October and the end of the first week in November, because, of course, not only Halloween but All Souls' Day (November 2) and Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) are at stake. All these holidays -- as we find in Mexico's Dia de Muertos -- share Macbeth's grisly but humorous tone and atmosphere. Borges thought the play cast an unrelievedly nightmarish pall over the playgoer's senses, but, with due respect to that great Argentine author and Shakespearean, Macbeth's nightmare is not totally dark. The play is in fact punctuated by the humor of the gallows. The phrase is apt. Macbeth contains references to the Gunpowder